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The Inner Chief

Mar 20, 2018

In this episode I cover one my personal mottos “Ownership Precedes Victory” and how to use it to really take control of your career and become a great Chief

Life in the chaos of the modern business world can be crushingly difficult. The rapid pace of change in technology, as well as new customer and employee expectations is now amplified by a hyper-competitive global landscape. Executive teams now have to navigate their companies through transformational change just to survive.

For those reporting to the executive team, and leading the operational charge towards big targets and new cultures, it can be incredibly complex and difficult to stay in front of the game. They work hard all day, every day, on an endless list of tasks at work and home. The politics, red tape and antiquated systems suck their energy and many begin to wonder if there is more to life than this.

It feels like the world is happening to them, rather than they’re happening to the world.

After spending the last decade with some of the best in business and sport, it is now crystal clear that their intelligence and relationships, while undeniably important, are only a part of their success. They became great Chiefs not because they are lucky with intelligence or networks, but because they have taken to heart a powerful philosophy: ownership precedes victory. They take personal accountability for the outcome of every challenge they face, relationship they enter, and business they lead. They demand ownership of it and they will not share the blame with others

It is this hunger to accept the mantle of responsibility that separates the good from the great.

But in practice ownership can be brutally difficult because it is between you and you. And the best are their own hardest markers.

As one CEO said to me recently, “You can’t lie to the person looking back at you in the mirror.” This is what ownership is all about. Can you be truly honest with yourself?

Using this little philosophy can be like an internal call to arms when challenges arise. Instead of shrinking in the face of a challenge or a difficult person, ownership is about rising up to your full height and using every resource, connection and strategy at your disposal to get a new outcome.

In a work context take stock for a minute and ask yourself whether you have taken true ownership of the outcomes in the following:

Your relationship with my boss (hint – your boss is your customer, how would they rate you as a customer?)
Key stakeholders and peer relationships
Low performers in your team
Your company targets and results
Your personal development and the development of your team?
Sometimes we just need a little reminder that the qualities and habits that make one great are not natural. They are learned and earned and 100% in our own control. It isn’t a quick fix – it takes lots of soul searching and all of your personal power. But when you rise above the challenge by taking the harder road and knock it out the park, your victory is so much sweeter.


Stay epic